Those of you who know a bit about me will know that I spent over six years working for Sheffield Wednesday, during which time I developed a real affection for the club. So it was a little strange to spend Saturday afternoon at Bramall Lane, for the Blades’ match against Millwall (strictly in a work capacity!)
SUFC’s Vice-President, Martin Ross, had invited me to the game, which they had designated as one of their six charity fixtures of the year, for Breast Cancer Care. The club had really pulled out the stops to help with the fundraising effort. Directors from SUFC and Millwall donated generously to a raffle, players’ wives had been busy baking and collecting funds, and players and fans contributed to the effort in the run-up to kick-off.
Speaking to Sarah, from Breast Cancer Care, after the game, I know she was bowled over by the support they had received from the club, and the initial indications of the amount they had raised. It all reflected very well on United and their commitment to local charities.
Over the coming months, I will be developing Age UK Sheffield’s approach to corporate and charity partnerships. My day at Bramall Lane reinforced my view that charities can’t just go out with their begging bowl to local businesses. We need to form genuine partnerships which benefit not only ourselves, but also the businesses we want to work with. Importantly, their staff must feel connected to the charity they are supporting.
At Age UK Sheffield, we are working to build independent and fulfilling lives for all our great city’s families; I hope that is something that Sheffield United and many other Sheffield businesses will feel they want to support in the future.
Further evidence of the amazing work done by our staff came last Thursday, at my first Age UK Sheffield Board meeting. As we went through the papers describing the services we have delivered over the past few months, one of the Trustees remarked that a case study we had reported had made them cry. It was a poignant reminder that our work in Sheffield is much-needed and vitally important. We have a duty to find the funds to deliver as much of it as possible.
*If you are interested in helpiing us with individual fundraising or a business partnership, please e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org